HP Archer:
1470HP; Warrior: 3670HP (Standard Game)
Weakness Poison/Fire/Lightning
Resistance Magic/Dark

The Dragonriders is an enemy in Dark Souls 2.


Dragonriders Information 

Twin Dragonriders is a boss in Dark Souls 2. Bosses of Drangleic Castle. One of the dragonriders uses a Great Bow from a platform and can be drawn from his perch with ranged attacks, the other uses the same moveset as the Dragonrider from Heide's Tower. They will attack you together. The Great Bow wielding dragonrider can come down after a certain threshold of damage has been done or if the player ever lockes on to them, when on the rider drops down they will switch to normal Halberd moveset.









Counter Measures

Shield Bash Short range attack with shield, depletes stamina if guarding.  
Thrust Thrusts halberd forward.  Parry
Overhead Smash Brings halberd down from overhead directly in front of himself.  
Sweep Attack Sweeps halberd in front of himself in a semi circle.  


NPC Summons

There are no NPC summons for this encounter in the original DS2.
In the SotFS Edition you can summon Pilgrim Bellclaire and Bashful Ray for this fight. The summons sign for Pilgrim Bellclaire is just in front of the fog gate.


Take out the Dragonrider that is launching projectiles at you first. The other Dragonrider with a halberd is not as fast so it's easy to outrun him while returning and attacking the ranged one. The Great Bow Dragonrider is on top of a platform but can be lured down if you fight the other underneath it, and has less HP than the Halberd Dragonrider (around 1470HP compared to 3670HP). Once the ranged one is finished with, the other is very simple.
Also, they are both very weak against poison (due to their low health and the insane duration of poison on them). So buy some poison daggers before the fight and try to poison the 1st Dragonrider when he reaches 50%. It takes about 4 - 5 hits for him to catch the effect. The poison damage will deal about about 15hp each tick and take out the 1st Dragonrider within 1 or 2 complete duration; therefore, you will need at least 10 poison daggers to completely finish him off. If you manage to poison him, just keep your distance with your shield on and let the damage do the work.

When the fight begins, focus your attention on the archer dragon rider on the platform above. Wait for the dragon rider already on the ground to attack, and then proceed to cast spells at the dragon rider bowman. It has significantly less hp, so is to take down, making the fight a lot easier. After the archer is dead proceed to fight the other one in the same fashion as the one in Heide's Tower of Flame.
Note: (Used great lightning spear, three shotted bow rider as soon as fight started and took about 5-6 hits to kill second rider, VERY effective! 44 faith and int, also tested to work with regular lightning spear at 24 faith with chimes at +10 lightning)
Note: 4 Soul Spears will easily topple the archer Dragonrider at 40 Int, making it a quick takedown due to it's small cast time comapred to lightning spear.
Note: After the second Dragonrider jumped down, I used chaos storm and almost instantly killed the archer and did massive damage to the initial melee Dragonrider.
Also, poison arrows work very well in this fight. Both Dragonriders can be poisoned, and only take 4 shots. The archer Dragonrider will die from one duration of poison and the ground level one should die in 2 plus a couple hits.

Attack the ground level Dragonrider until the second one jumps down from his platform and immediately focus all attention on him in order to take the lesser hp one down fast. After that turn your attention to the 50% one and finish him off.
If you're having trouble with the Dragon Archer there are pillars on the left side of the room, it is possible to stand here and avoid any shots from him but it's not recommended to stay here long as the other Dragon Rider will lock you in quite quickly if you make a mistake.

Dark fog
The moment you enter the boss fight both Dragonriders can be targeted, target the archer on the ledge and cast Dark fog on him before his ally even starts to approach, all the while dodging or blocking the melee Dragonrider. The archer will fall down and continue to shoot arrows at this point launch a second dark fog to finish him then take care of the remaining boss.

Fight Log
An Ultra Greatsword can do a large amount of damage.  Before you walk in have a large area effect spell/pyromancy, or hex attack ready, launch it at them when you traverse the fog and have your shot lined up. They will be on the back left side of the room. If you can get it to hit between them it will get them both a little. If you can get it to barely tag one, it will do one larger damage and still get the other one a little. The player could aim for the one that is behind the halberd wielding vanguard. They may not be able to lock on because of how far you are away so either use very quick spells that do moderate damage in smaller areas or spells that take a little more time but can envelop a large area; the only quick small area large damage spell I found is lightening spear. The player could used a very light armor to making moving around easier. Equip one right hand weapon that is long but fast, like a Black Knight Great Sword or Ultra Great Sword that has a Slash/Thrust attack or a buffed katana. The great swords that only have a slash attack are slightly slower. 

The Dragonriders have weak fire defenses making Pyromancy very effective. The best strategy is to go below the platform the archer Dragonrider is on and make him jump down. Line up both of them relatively close and hit them with the Pyromancy Fire Whip. With some luck the Fire Whip will stagger them, or at least one, and you'll be able to pull of consecutive casts. When you run out of casts use 1 or 2 Chaos Storm spells to finish them off. If you see them wind up an attack try to dodge it and move behind their backs. Pyromancy Flame +9 recommended. No rings necessary, but equipping the Northern Ritual Band and the Clear Bluestone Ring might help.

Video Strategies

Twin Dragonriders: Ranged, Sword & Board and Power Stance
Melee(two hand/strength)
Melee(two hand/SL1)
Faith/sorcery/Hexes (Co-op)
Melee/bow solo. (Zerohs)
Melee Co-op (1.07)


  • Some of their attacks can be parried.
  • Holy Water Urns deal a significant amount of damage and can hit both Dragonriders at once. (Tried on PS3, didn't work at all.)
  • You can trick the ground level Dragonrider into destroying the platform that the archer Dragonrider is on in order to fight both at once
  • The Archer has significantly less hp so take him out first
  • You can stand in the blind spot of the platform that the Archer one is on to make him jump down



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    • Anonymous

      18 Jul 2021 14:10  

      For some dumb reason I find these dudes harder than Looking Glass Knight, granted that you don’t cheese these guys and hit the Red Dragonrider first and then deal with both Dragonriders with their halberds. Feels just like Ruin Sentinels all over again.

      • Anonymous

        15 Jun 2021 18:45  

        the concept is nice, but done very badly, this could have been O&S of DS2 but instead we have a chonky dragonrider and a less chonky dragonrider, i had some fun against these guys, but they are nothing special once they go both on melee.
        The bossfight would have been cooler if Red RIder was normal while Black Rider had a lighter version of the Dragonrider set (less bulky and more form fitting) and instead used the twinblade instead of the halberd and shield.
        The bossfight plays out normally untill you kill one and a dragon burst out of a wall/cealing and the other rider becomes mounted (Dragoriders don't ride real dragons in the DS sense, something more similar to dinosaurs if i recall correctly). They could have done it at fromsoft, they had a wivern model and the moveset for an horse like creature (Executioner chariot, that has even breath attack, just change the fog with fire). Also the dragon breaking trough a wall could make the boss room bigger (to help a spellcster player)

        • Anonymous

          25 May 2021 06:24  

          so, THESE guys rides dragons right? what if Ornstein of the Old dragonslayer kills his dragon what will happen?

          • Anonymous

            28 Apr 2021 17:43  

            Killed these guys, then killed Looking Glass Knight.

            Passed back through on my way to unlock The Embedded later on, and I can still see summon signs (including Pilgrim Bellclaire) in front of their room.

            How come? Is there another area boss that I don't know about ?

            • Anonymous

              27 Jan 2021 22:01  

              You enter the fog door after talking with the queen of Drangleic herself. You expect something at Ornstein & Smough caliber. And then... Copy pasted first (depends on the path you choose, Heide's Tower of Flame was mine) boss of the game!

              • Anonymous

                13 Dec 2020 16:37  

                First, I thought "Hey, this isn't too hard. Just gotta hit this guy in time and block the arrow."

                Then he jumped down.

                • Anonymous

                  04 Dec 2020 14:21  

                  Badly designed boss fight, just like many others in the base game. They didn't manage to create good bosses so they just toss in them in more numbers, "quantity over quality" line of thought.

                  • Anonymous

                    28 Nov 2020 02:03  

                    I find it funny that they added bellclaire to this fight in SotFS, like "oh no this boss is too 'difficult' for players, how about we make it easier". It's almost insulting how easy this fight is, if you need help with this fight, you probably shouldn't be playing dark souls to begin with.

                    • Anonymous

                      30 Jul 2020 15:55  


                      • Anonymous

                        28 May 2020 12:56  

                        This has to be one of the easiest bosses especially if you have poison/toxic mist or dark fog. (in a NG playthrough at least)

                        • 05 Apr 2020 19:09  

                          You know what made the first dragon rider (not really) difficult? Chances are, you didn't have a upgraded weapon therefore, your damage was weak enough that you don't 5 shot him. To balance this for the next fight, they added an archer who couldn't hit to save his life and the health bar of an asmatic dolphin. Tbh I find the first one (slightly) better as he was unique at the time and didn't die as soon as I entered (unless he threw his fat ass of the edge). Do whatever and you'll find some extra souls in your pocket and another boss out the way.

                          • Anonymous

                            06 Sep 2019 07:02  

                            lol why are the weaknesses labeled as poison/magic?? the dragonriders are weak to strike/lightning. is this site ran by monkeys?

                            • Anonymous

                              16 Apr 2019 06:39  

                              I just did this fight duel welding caesteus (I'm doing a pure brawler build). The first rider went down in 5 or 6 light combos then the second one jumped down and went down in 3 combos. I used the summon outside to take some of the agro away and just tanked a few hits. Aromatic ooze made the fight very one sided.

                              • Anonymous

                                19 Feb 2019 19:23  

                                At first I was trying to be conservative and cautious just like with the Ruin Sentinels, but then I discovered this boss is *insanely* weak to fire. A single fireball (granted, Fth 40, with the penal cuffs and a +6 Chaos Fireball while full hollowed, but just your bog standard fireball anyway) took like a fifth of their health. I ended up just lobbing the suckers around while dodging their frankly can't-be-more-telegraphed attacks and literally melted them from a comfy distance.

                                • Anonymous

                                  02 Feb 2019 02:21  

                                  I chose the first corner as a battle position and moved around the boss. Try to read the boss's movement and hide behind his back. Avoid moving outside to prevent being shot. Fighting in a narrow angle, the camera was really hard to see, spinning around the enemy making me dizzy. Really ridiculous when the arrow flies through the enemy and hits you? After the 2nd boss entered the battle. My character could use magic to attack. Magic can recover and I save souls for level up.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    04 Sep 2018 17:55  

                                    Lol i just beat this boss as a Hex, strength build using the crypt blacksword i 2 shot the bow weilding one and killed the melee dragonrider in about 6 hits

                                    • Anonymous

                                      08 Aug 2018 10:27  

                                      Worst. Boss. Ever. Not only this is actually a recycled boss of the Dragonrider,but this fight is not special considering that you know the original fight at Heide's Tower of Flame (Unless you had cheesed him.) and you are doing it again but with another one (colored black) shooting at you with a greatbow until the red Dragonrider gets to 10 percent HP,in which he helps him by joining in on the fight.

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